Discover your Strengths

Everyone loves to hear that they have certain strengths and abilities. Far too often we are told that we are not good enough, capable enough, or that we are too old, too young, or too inexperienced. Spiritual Gifts are God-given spiritual strengths and every Christian has been given at least one by God Himself, according to His plan and purpose. That’s why I like to say “You have been gifted for greatness.” “You have been shaped for significance.” “You have been blessed to be a blessing.” The bottom line is that God has gifted you for greatness. He has spiritually enabled you for specific service.

There are 3 main passages of scripture in the New Testament that deal with spiritual gifts: Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12.  In addition, there is a key overarching verse found in 1 Peter 4:10.  Let’s take a look at each of these passages briefly.

3 Realities About Spiritual Gifts

1: God wants you to know about spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:1).

  • What are spiritual gifts? They are a special attribute given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the Body for use within the Body.
  • There are 3 major gift passages in the New Testament:
    • Motivational Gifts: Rom. 12
    • Manifestation Gifts: 1 Cor. 12
    • Ministry Gifts: Eph. 4
  • How are spiritual gifts different from human talents or natural abilities?

         Talents/Natural Abilities          Spiritual Gifts

         > Inherited from parents             > Given by Holy Spirit

         > Present from natural birth        > Present from new birth

         > God-given to all people            > God-given to all Christians

         > Glorifies self                            > Glorifies God

  • How are spiritual gifts different from the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23)

         Fruit of the Spirit                      Spiritual Gifts

         > Defines what a Christian is      > Determines what a Christian does

         > Same in every Christian          > Different in each Christian

         > About character                     > About ministry to others

         > Focus is on maturity               > Focus is on service

2: God has gifted you for service (1 Cor. 12:4-6, 11)

    • Recognize that gifts are given by God.
    • Remember that gifts are given for the common good.
    • Respect that you are given a specific gift(s) on purpose.

Interestingly, there are two seas in Israel, the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. One, the Sea of Galilee, is alive, teeming with fish, with life all around.  Water flows in and water flows out.  Or you could say, blessing in and blessing out. In the other, the Dead Sea, water flows in but there is no outward flow of water.  It is an end in itself.  Stagnant.  Dead within and all around. You might say, blessing in but no blessing out.  The application is clear, let life and grace flow from your life.  Don’t be a dam, be a channel of God’s love and grace – and live your life to bless others.

3: God wants you to discover, develop, & deploy your gift(s) (1 Cor 12:8-10, 12ff; Rom 12:6-8)

    • Discover:
      • Involve yourself in ministry and service to others.  As you do, you will discover where you are gifted and how God desires to use you to bless others.
    • Develop:
      • We discipline ourselves to grow in every other area of our life. Let’s grow in the area of our spiritual strengths and gifts and allow God to use us for His glory.
    • Deploy:
      • Make it your dream to be used by God.  Be a fountain, not a drain! Use your gift(s) to bless others.  Read:  1 Peter 4:10; 1 Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6; Eph 4:7; Eph 4:16; 1 Cor 12:18, 27.

God is the great conductor. We are His orchestra. What you play may be different than what I play, but every instrument is important because we are instruments of His grace. Let’s all play for His glory, by serving God and serving people.